News, Science

Stunning New Colour-Enhanced Pictures of Jupiter

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NASA recently released new pictures of Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system.

The photos were taken by the Juno spacecraft. Many of the black-and-white images, sent back to Earth by Juno, have been colourized by people to better show the clouds swirling around the planet.

Jupiter. Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/ Gerald Eichstädt /Seán Doran
Jupiter. Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/ Gerald Eichstädt /Seán Doran

The Juno spacecraft was launched in 2011. Its mission was “to examine Jupiter’s chemistry, atmosphere, interior structure and magnetosophere,” according to a NASA website. Juno arrived at Jupiter in 2016, looking for “clues to its origin and evolution.” Since that time, it has been orbiting (flying around) Jupiter, taking pictures and sending them digitally back to Earth.

Juno, which cost more than $1 billion (US), travels about 209,000 kilometres per hour as it flies around Jupiter taking pictures every 53 days.

Jupiter. Image: Jupiter. Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/ Gerald Eichstädt /Seán Doran

It can take days or even weeks for the images to get back to Earth from Juno.

Some of the photos show “distinctive cloud bands that wrap around the gas giant,” according to Space.com. Other images show Jupiter’s eight white, oval-shaped “storms,” known as its string of pearls. Others show Jupiter’s “great red spot.”

NASA is encouraging anyone to download (from this webpage) and digitally enhance and share Juno’s images of Jupiter.

 

Jupiter. Image: Jupiter. Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/ Gerald Eichstädt /Seán Doran

Related Links

Information and photos of Jupiter, from NASA.

Lots of great information here on NASA’s Jupiter webpage.

A timeline about Jupiter, from discovery until now.

Learn about the Junocam here.

NASA’s Jupiter Image gallery.

CURRICULUM CONNECTIONS
By Jonathan Tilly

Writing/Discussion Prompt
It is said that a photograph is worth 1,000 words. Well, let’s make it a little simpler than that… If you could only use seven words to describe Jupiter, which would they be? Compare your adjectives (description words) with a friends. How are they similar and how are they different?

Reading Prompt: Demonstrating Understanding
In one sentence, describe what today’s story is about? What other one-sentence descriptions may have been appropriate? How can you decide which sentence is the best summary?

Primary
Demonstrate understanding of a variety of texts by identifying important ideas and some supporting details
 (OME, Reading: 1.4).

Junior
Demonstrate understanding of a variety of texts by summarizing important ideas and citing supporting details 
(OME, Reading: 1.4).

Intermediate
Demonstrate understanding of increasingly complex texts by summarizing important ideas and citing a variety of details that support the main idea 
(OME, Reading: 1.4).

Language Feature: Atmosphere vs. Magnetosphere
The history of the word “atmosphere” explains that it is, in fact, a compound word meaning “vapour ball.” Accordingly, the “magnetosphere” is a “magnet ball,” and the “biosphere” is a “living ball.”

Accordingly, what do you think these scientific terms may mean:

Stratosphere, hydrosphere, heliosphere, ecosphere, and microsphere.